December 13 is National Day of the Horse and a time to celebrate and reflect on the life-changing joy that comes from owning and loving horses. If you’ve ever dreamt of owning a horse, your dream might be more realistic than you think. Meet three first-time horse owners who found their perfect matches through equine adoption.
The #RightHorse Makes All the Difference
Ruth is your typical horse-crazy kid; she owns an impressive collection of horse books and spends her spare time learning about and drawing horses. Unlike most kids her age, she also deals with depression and anxiety. Last year, Ruth’s mom, Kristie, thought a horse might help her daughter when the pandemic exacerbated Ruth’s symptoms. But no one in the family had ever worked with horses and Kristie wasn’t sure where to start.
A friend suggested to Kristie that a pony might be a good option for them. While they weren’t ready to commit to a full-size equine, a pony’s smaller size made her feel more comfortable. On her friend’s recommendation, Kristie contacted one the ASPCA’s Right Horse Adoption Partners, Hickory Hill Farm, and learned about a small, older pony named Diva who was waiting to find her next person.
Thanks to Hickory Hill Farm’s supportive network and Diva’s foster family, Kristie and her family quickly added to their skillset and gained confidence in their ability to care for a pony. It ended up being a perfect match that forever changed both Ruth’s and Diva’s lives. Diva has fallen in love with her little girl, and Ruth’s dedication and commitment to her new friend has helped ease her anxiety and depression. After experiencing the adoption process, Kristie enthusiastically encourages anyone thinking about equine ownership to pursue adoption.
Read Diva and Ruth’s full adoption story.
Find Your Team, Find Your #RightHorse
Like many people, Holly grew up dreaming of having a horse of her own. Holly shared her dream with a close friend, and after planning, the pair came up with the unique idea adopting a horse together and found a local training barn where Holly could take lessons and advance her horsemanship skills.
Soon after finding a local trainer, Holly and Amy brought home a beautiful Thoroughbred mare named Gilly from ASPCA Right Horse Partner Win Place Home. Now, Holly spends her spare time at the barn with her family, best friend and #RightHorse. She’s fulfilling a lifelong dream and has a network of support to help her on her new journey. Her takeaway? For those considering adoption, having a team by your side can help.
“Bringing Gilly home is the best decision I have ever made. I love learning to ride. My two young daughters love being with horses and spend hours at the barn helping me work and taking lessons. My husband and I are sharing a new passion.”
The #RightHorse Is Worth the Wait
As a first-time adopter, Shelly wanted to make sure she found a horse who would be well-behaved around her young family. She inquired about several horses before she found Casa on our equine adoption site, myrighthorse.org, available for adoption from This Old Horse.
She knew Casa was the #RightHorse for her family the minute they met. Casa was instantly drawn to her children and was brave in new situations. When she finalized the adoption, Shelly was ecstatic. Now, with the help of a local riding instructor, she takes regular lessons on her new horse. Her whole family has bonded with Casa, who has flourished under their love and attention.
Shelly was patient in the search for her #RightHorse and spoke with several different adoption agencies before selecting the horse who was perfect for her family. She discovered that our ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Partners are experts at matching good people with good horses, and her patience paid off when she met Casa.
Feeling inspired to adopt? Good! It’s important to remember that adoption is a wonderful way to get involved in the world of horses. Whether you’re ready to dive right in or want to improve your horsemanship, there’s a place for you in the world of equine welfare and adoption. Visit myrighthorse.org to find your local ASPCA Right Horse Partner and get involved as an adopter, volunteer or foster home today!
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